• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 06
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Before the Torches

Martin’s bright lights appeared like torches in the rain — one to his left, one to the right. Umbrellas bobbed around as today’s cars and commuters slid by. A line of thick black clouds hung over him. Martin had twenty minutes to head home before the torches became acquainted and his latest migraine floored him.

Each night Martin dreamt of touch but touch lurked elsewhere: through walls, under floorboards, and so on. Instead, he slid his fingers across a glass screen and looked at photographs of other humans. Touch eluded Martin.

Home, and the door sealed off the sound from outside like a Mute button.

Martin lay down in bed and thought of a playing field. But he played no game. Instead, he lay on grass and looked up.

It was 1994 again, and Martin was studying clouds and dreaming of travel. He was drowning in retro and listening to his Discman: ‘America’ by Simon & Garfunkel. Nowadays, he lived his life in monochrome A4 portrait but those days traced landscapes in warm colours.

Martin woke. The torches had dimmed and his migraine was passing, until next time. Outside, the clouds had gone. Martin put on the kettle and waited to sip.